Riders 21 - TiCats 31
Stop me if you've heard this one before... the Riders play 3 pretty quarters of football only to go to hell in the 4th and lose. Throw in the usual injured starting player and we've pretty much seen the same thing 5 times now. Each time it ends in a loss and a collective decline in the health of liver's across the province.
I actually thought the defense played not bad for a large part of the game. They we far from perfect (far, far, and then go a little further yet) but they showed glimmers. Even late in the game when Glenn threw that pick inside the redzone (which was a terrible decision, not sure what his read was there but he read wrong) they held the Ticats to a FG. But numbers don't lie and we gave up 130+ yards along the ground to Gable. They also managed to go another game without a turnover and a single solitary sack. Have they been worse? Yes they have. Are they even close to good enough? No they aren't. Alex Hall has been a massive disappointment. I even noticed him on the sidelines late in the game on a fairly key down so obviously the coaches are seeing it to. We can't seem to generate much pressure and Hamilton is far from being one of the upper echelon O-lines.
Offensively you pretty much knew we were screwed when a white dude with the #16 sauntered out into the huddle instead of a black dude wearing #5. I'm sure we all frantically checked to down and yardage wondering what the hell Brett Smith was doing out there for anything but a plunge. He's way too raw at this point to be effective. Prior to Glenn checking out I liked what I saw from the O. As expected, the Hamilton D is a very tough opponent so production was down but we found ways to move the ball in spite of that. It took us a while but by the end of the first half we were hitting a stride. I really liked how we actually put some faith in our short yardage unit and drove straight instead of trying all that WR sweep crap. I did think Glenn was way too locked onto Dressler. I mean I get that he's our best receiver but you can't key on him that much against a D as good as Hamilton.
In order to win you need other phases to help out when another is struggling. Thus far it has been our O trying to carry the D. This week our O had some struggles and our D could not compensate. We already proved you can't win when only one phase of the game is going well so could we really expect to win when no phase performed all that good? Simply put we are not a good enough team at this point. And there is no miracle cure on the injury list that can save us. Emry and Green might help but I still don't think we win even with them in. You can tell just how defeated I am because normally this space would be filled with anger, ranting and cursing but all you see before you is a defeated man. I unfortunately see this getting worse before things get better.
Other random thoughts:
- Whatever happened to Glenn did not look serious but if he misses any time then there goes about the only glimmer of hope we have this season. Tino Suneri may soon make his not-so triumphant return to the field.
- I was impressed with our special teams unit. Coverage was pretty good all day.
- Dressler is such an amazing guy to watch because of the little things he does. On that play where he ended up throwing an incompletion, most receivers would not have had the presence of mind to jump on that live ball and they definitely would not have thought of throwing it away to preserve yards.
- The unnecessary roughness call when Hall walked Collaros out of bounds was beyond ridiculous. No way they make that call if that is a receiver and I'll go as far as to say no way Durant would get that call.
- Chris Best led our team out of the tunnel... that to me just seems wrong. I miss the days of Kitwana flying out of there or Kornegay making his X signs. We need some more fire in the bellies.